For a system that exists at a particular moment in time, with its measurable parameters (aka properties) we could define the ‘state’ of it at that moment.
- Thermodynamic process - When the state of the thermodynamic system changes, then the system is said to be undergoing a thermodynamic process.
- Thermodynamic path - The path taken by the consecutive states in a thermodynamic process.
For example in the first lesson, we considered a glass of water as a thermodynamic system. The volume, pressure, and temperature of the water and the glass at a certain point in time would define the system’s thermodynamic state for that time. When we heat it by putting it on a burner, a thermodynamic process ensues, changing the state of the system.
Based on what properties are held constant during the process, there are different type of thermodynamic processes. In the upcoming lessons you’d encounter these processes.